DH Cinema Projects

Selected list of Digital Humanities Cinema Studies projects. List compiled by Marina Hassapopoulou (NYU), and annotations expanded by Anne Amanda Moore (Columbia). Certain excerpts in the descriptions have been taken from the project websites. Feel free to submit your own projects to add to this open-ended list.

  1. Transmedia Frictions – Official Book Companion Site to Marsha Kinder and Tara McPherson’s edited collection Transmedia Frictions The Digital, the Arts, and the Humanities. Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 2014.
  2. Yuri Tsivian’s Cinemetrics. Example of case study: “Beyond Comparing: The Internal Dynamics of Intolerance” by Yuri Tsivian. An essay that illuminates that in today’s age of computerized statistics what we can do with ASLs goes beyond comparing films, as epitomized by the use of D.W Griffith’s 1916 Intolerance as a case study. Tsivian theorizes that we can now project comparative statistics to throw light upon its inner structure, something that the title of this essay defines as “internal dynamics.” The project was spearheaded by Professor Yuri Tsivian, University of Chicago.
  3. Frederick Brodberg’s Cinemetrics. Brodbeck explores the “fingerprinting” of cinematics and the movie itself as a source of meta-data within the realm of graphics, associated with the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
  4. Photogrammar, Yale : http://photogrammar.yale.edu/
  5. Media Ecology Project: https://sites.dartmouth.edu/mediaecology/. MEP is a digital resource at Dartmouth that will facilitate the awareness of and critical study of Media Ecology: the dynamic ecology of historical media in relation to the public sphere and public memory. It provides online access to primary moving image research materials, and engages dynamic new forms of scholarly production and online publishing.  MEP is working to connect archives of historical media to researchers in Film and Media Studies and related fields and disciplines, extending into the undergraduate classroom. We promote close textual studies of the subject matter, production, reception, and representational practices of media, in relation to research within and across the collections of participating archives. MEP is directed by Professor Mark Williams, Dartmouth University.
  6. Timeline of historical film colors: http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/.Timeline of Historical Film Colors was developed as a database of historical film colors to document the various associated processes that have emerged in the course of film history. As of April 2012, this database consisted of 290 entries. It is being published online as an open access timeline that connects historical and bibliographical information with primary resources from several hundred original papers and more than 400 scanned frames provided by archives and scholars from all over the world.This database has been conceived to serve as the starting point for a more collaborative endeavor to gather and connect detailed information on each of these processes as well as further illustrative material, filmographies, and downloads of seminal texts.This database was created and is curated by Barbara Flueckiger, professor at the Institute of Cinema Studies, University of Zurich.
  7. Every Single Word Tumblr project: http://everysinglewordspoken.tumblr.com. Named the “most viral blog of 2015” by Tumblr, this independent blog is created by Dylan Marron, touching on topics of racial inequality in mainstream media.
  8. The Roaring Twenties: http://vectorsdev.usc.edu/NYCsound/777b.html .The Roaring Twenties is an interactive exploration of the historical soundscape of New York City, with the goal of using noise as a means of understanding civilizations of our own and other than our own. The Roaring Twenties was created by Emily Thompson, designed by Scott Mahoy and produced through the multimedia journal Vectors.
  9. Critical Commons: Fair use for using media content (very useful alternative to YouTube for scholars): http://www.criticalcommons.org/ Critical Commons is a public media archive and fair use advocacy network that supports the transformative reuse of media in scholarly and creative contexts. Critical Commons is also part of the technical and conceptual architecture of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture and the electronic authoring/publishing platform Scalar.the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Critical Commons is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the 2008 Digital Media and Learning initiative and is an ongoing project of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Seed funding for this project was provided by USC’s James H. Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund and additional development funds were provided by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (ANVC) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).
  10. Movie BarCode .A Tumblr/Twitter account dedicated to the visceral collection of color schemes within a motion picture.
  11. Mapping Desmet The project “Data-driven Film History: A Demonstrator of EYE’s Jean Desmet Collection” (2014-2015) aims to provide a transparant tool to visualise the programming and distribution of the films of Jean Desmet, a film distributor and cinema owner in the Netherlands (1875-1956). The project was funded by the Knowledge Innovation Mapping (KIEM) programme of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
  12. Women Film Pioneers – “The Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP) is a freely accessible, collaborative online database that showcases the hundreds of women who worked behind-the-scenes in the silent film industry as directors, producers, editors, and more. Women Film Pioneers is published by Columbia University Libraries’ Center for Digital Research and Scholarship.
  13. Technocinema: Media | Technology | History – Steve F. Anderson’s site and archive of interactive works
  14. Vectors interactive journal
  15. Erik Loyer’s Interactive Projects, including the interactive version of Anne Friedberg’s Virtual Window [alternative publication models; see also Vectors & Scalar]. Combining elements drawn from video games and comic books with dynamic music, gestural control, and synaesthetics, Erik Loyer’s artworks, websites, and mobile apps have garnered international recognition. He is the Ceative Director for the experimental journal Vectors, he has designed over a dozen interactive essays in collaboration with leading humanities scholars, including the Webby-honored documentary Public Secrets. Loyer founded Opertoon in 2008 to explore the storytelling potential of mobile devices, creating and publishing tactile narratives Ruben & Lullaby and Upgrade Soul, both IndieCade nominees, as well as Strange Rain.The Launch Project is a companion piece to Anne Friedberg’s book The Virtual Window in which users can play with various combinations of formats, content and viewers to explore the ways in which apertures of vision affect the content we experience. The Design and Programming is solely done by Erik Loyer.
  16. The Diem Project – visualizations of eye movements and dynamic images, to investigate how people (viewers) view and see. DIEM (Dynamic Images and Eye Movement) has (thus far) collected data from over 250 participants watching 85 different videos. All of our data is freely available for research and non-commercial use as restricted by a CC-NC-SA 3.0 Creative Commons license. The data together with CARPE will let you visualize where people look during dynamic scene viewing such as during film trailers, music videos, or advertisements. The project was originally conceived and implemented at the University of Edinburgh, and made possible by generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK. Professor John M. Henderson, Principal Investigator,  is now at the Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis.
  17. Digital Formalism – automated analysis and retrieval of archival/ historic film material. In the project (which began in 2006), film-theoretical research on the issues of “Formalism” (from 1920s Russian Formalism to the Prague School, French Structuralism and 1980s Neo-Formalism) meets with archival questions (“What is a filmic artefact?”) and problems (identification and classification of filmic elements). In cooperation with experts from the Vienna University of Technology, a second stage will see the development of digital tools, enabling an investigation and classification of individual films and groups of films according to formal and material-related criteria. Aside from the fundamental research, one of the goals of this project is the development of new applications for film analysis and restoration. The project ended in January 2010 with the publication of a double-disc DVD with two films by Vertov: A Sixth Part of the World (1926) and The Eleventh Year (1928).The project  was cultivated and conducted  by the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies (University of Vienna) and the Vienna University of Technology.
  18. Project Arclight -Analytics for the study of 20th century media. Project Arclight enables the study of 20th century American media through comparisons across time and space. Project Arclight searches the nearly 2 million page collection of the Media History Digital Library and graphs the results. Project Archlight is a collaboration among interdisciplinary researchers at Concordia University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  19. DOMITOR. Domitor offers a database as a portal for research done on early cinema. Domitor was founded by: Stephen Bottomore of the United Kingdom, Paolo Cherchi Usai of Italy, André Gaudreault of Canada, Tom Gunning of the United States, and Emmanuelle Toulet of France. The site is designed, developed and maintained by DIGITALWORX.
  20. Docsouth: Going to the Show. Going to the Show- in conjunction with Doc South-  documents and illuminates the experience of movies and moviegoing in North Carolina from the introduction of projected motion pictures (1896) to the end of the silent film era (circa 1930).Going to the Show is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina. Extensive historical commentaries by noted film historian, Robert C. Allen, supply context and background.
  21. Filming Revolution.Filming Revolution is a meta-documentary about documentary and independent filmmaking in Egypt since the revolution, bringing together the collective wisdom and creative strategies of media-makers in Egypt, before during and after the revolution. The ideology behind Film Revolution is to invite viewers to engage with Egyptian filmmakers, artists, activists and archivists, talking about their work and their ideas about how (and whether) to make films in the time of revolution. The creator of Filming Revolution is Professor Alisa Lebow, New York University alumna.
  22. The Labyrinth Project, USC. The Labyrinth Project is a research initiative on interactive narrative at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Under the direction of cultural theorist Marsha Kinder since 1997, Labyrinth has been working at the pressure point between theory and practice.
  23. Pad.ma (Public Access Digital Media Archive) is an online archive of densely text-annotated video material, mainly footage and unfinished films. The entire collection is viewable and searchable, and free to download for non-commercial use.
  24. Indian Cine.ma Indiancine.ma is an annotated online archive of Indian film. It is intended to serve as a shared resource for film scholars and enthusiasts in India and beyond. The website is operated in collaboration with multiple organizations, the most prominent being: The Media Lab, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The Department of Cultural Studies, English & Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. SARAI, Delhi. The Cinema Studies Programme, School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore.
  25. Early DH: The Multimedia HItchcock [not accessible online]. The Multimedia Hitchcock is designed to give you, the museum visitor –whether film fan, cinema scholar, or movie director– immediate, convenient, and entertaining access to invaluable research material on Alfred Hitchcock, his films, and his career. The Multimedia Hitchcock is developed by Dr. Robert E. Kapsis, via the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  26. Casablanca: A Digital Critical Edition [not accessible online?]. The Casablanca Digital Critical Edition is a project that was exploring web 2.0 concepts such as user generated content before they were popularized. The interface links DVD content to annotations and commentaries stored in an online server and enables home viewers of the 1942 film to access them while watching the film on DVD. By linking the web-based annotations to the local DVD with a uniform information structure the project reconciles the needs of copyright holders and film scholars. Students can access specific segments of the video without resorting to costly or illegal reproduction. Scholars can link targeted film segments to other primary materials such as shooting scripts, production memos, and never before seen outtakes. The Casablanca Digital Critical Edition was created by Aaron Revision, and was supported by the American Film Institute,  Warner Brothers Home Video,  InterActual, and with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  27. Critical Tools: Steve Mamber’s ClipNotes and Who Shot Liberty Valance? Who Shot Liberty Valance? is an experiment in “forensic film analysis”, presenting an argument that the classic 1962 movie has been largely misunderstood. The app includes considerable scholarship on the film, 3D models and diagrams, along with magnifications of a couple of key moments. ClipNotes is an iPad app to help you retrieve pre-selected segments of a video and show them together with any notes you might wish to present while the segments are showing. Both apps were created by Stephen Mamber. Visit the ClipNotes website for more.
  28. SP-ARK .SP-ARK is an interactive online project based on the multi-media archive of film-maker Sally Potter. The site currently holds over 4000 items, including annotated handwritten scripts, screen tests, production diaries, personal notes, production schedules, costume designs, and behind-the-scenes photographs.The site’s founder is Christopher Sheppard.
  29. Jeffrey Klenotic’s Mapping Movies .The project explores how people and movies interact in places that vary and change over time. The goal is to discover the social, technological and industrial forces that create the infrastructure for these interactions, and to map the cultural patterns formed through and upon them. By placing movies in geographical context, the project explores the relations between media access, physical landscape, social stratification, economic development, cultural networks, community meanings and collective memory. It also tests the limits of mapping as a mode of history. Jeffrey Klenotic pioneered Mapping Movies in 2003 as a desktop Geographic Information System (GIS). In 2013 it began migrating to a Web GIS platform using the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) created by the University of New Hampshire.
  30. Mapping Cinematographic Territories .The overall goal of this project is to develop a range of tools, methodologies, practices and concepts that could contribute to the improvement of the cartography of narratives in general and of cinematographic narratives in particular. The project is funded by Concordia University  and lead by Sébastien Caquard, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography at Concordia University.
  31. Digital HOMER projects (on movie-going). HoMER stands for History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception. It is an international network of researchers interested in understanding the complex phenomena of cinema-going, exhibition, and reception, from a multidisciplinary perspective. HoMER has organized panels, conferences and workshops since 2004. Founding members include but are not limited to: Kate Bowles- Wollongong University, Karel Dibbets- University of Amsterdam, Kathy Fuller-Seeley- Georgia State University, Douglas Gomery- University of Maryland.
  32. Interactive Pedagogy: Social Media Repurposing in Cinema Studies, by Marina Hassapopoulou. A collaborative multimedia class project that analyzes the potential contributions of social networking tools to the documentation of personal moments in film history, and proposes an alternative, networked mode of film historiography. The website includes a ThingLink interactive visualization and an interactive mosaic gallery of the media collected during and after the screening.
  33. See also Story Map examples (some data-driven, others geography/ location-based):  A Journey Through Star Wars Filming Locations [explores shooting locations for the six George Lucas Star Wars empire, created by Isabelle Rojs] & Character Journeys in Game of Thrones [each interactive map tells the story of a character or important chain of events within the Game of Thrones world. Sean Garvey is the creator of A Map of Ice and Fire and Lead Consultant of Explore Game of Thrones through interactive maps] & Ghostbusters interactive NYC map [follows the New York City filming locations of the 1980’s franchise Ghostbusters]  & The Geography of Horror Movies [see where more than 200 of the top-rated horror films of all-time took place, via an extensive interactive map. Data and images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and IMDB].
  34. Jewish Homegrown History: Immigration, Identity and Intermarriage is an interactive cultural history of Jews in America. It includes both an on-line multimedia archive and a traveling museum installation. ” Part of the Labyrinth Project.
  35. DIY Digital Humanities example: Variation on the sunbeam by Aitor Gametxo (2011). A database approach to D. W. Griffith’s Sunbeam (1912) that digitally illustrates the spacial configurations in the original film.
  36. The Audiovisual Essay: An online repository for the papers, discussions and screening program of The Audiovisual Essay: Practice and Theory international conference and workshop. A companion publication to issue 1.3 of the new peer-reviewed journal [in]Transition, a collaboration between MediaCommons and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ official publication, Cinema Journal, [in]Transition is the first peer-reviewed academic periodical specifically given over to videographic film and moving image studies. The Audiovisual Essay includes guides to making and teaching about video essays, as well as reflections on the practice and theory of the audiovisual essay.
  37.  [in]Transition: A collaboration between MediaCommons and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ official publication, Cinema Journal, [in]Transition is the first peer-reviewed academic journal of videographic film and moving image studies.
  38. Kinomatics:The Kinomatics Project collects, explores, analyses and represents data about the creative industries. Our research is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Our current focus is on the spatial and temporal dimensions of international film flow and the location of Australian live music gigs.
  39. Adelheid Heftberger. Kollision der Kader. Dziga Vertovs Filme, die Visualisierung ihrer Strukturen und die Digital Humanities, 2016.
  40. Run Lola Run movie analysis, by graphic designer Stephanie Audette.
  41. Free State of Jones intertextuality/ historical references interactive navigation. Description: “In this site you will be able to navigate through the entire movie, click the areas that interest you, and see a brief explanation of the historical facts that informed the screenplay. If you are more curious about that part of the movie, we have footnoted the paragraph to see sources on which it is based.”
  42. Virtual Reality in the Movies: A 360 Experience“, a 360 videoessay by Rishi Kaneria.
  43. Film Dialogue analytics essay, by Hannah Anderson and Matt Daniels.
  44. The Interface Experience: 40 Years of Personal Computing, curation and web application by Kimon Keramidas.
  45. Based on a True Story? Scene-by-Scene Breakdowns of Hollywood Movies.
  46. Annotating with TimeLine JS .See Gustavo Rosa’s example here and fullscreen version of scene annotation here.
  47. Visualizing Editing, by Szilvia Ruszev.
  48. Gesche Joost. AVR Rhetorik (the audio-visual rhetoric of films)
  49. Vertov in Blum: An Investigation. Concept: Adelheid Heftberger, Michael Loebenstein, Georg Wasner (Austria, 2009).
  50. Knowledge Design at Harvard
  51. Mind-Blowing Inception infographics
  52. Final Cut: Films Condensed Into a Single Frame
  53. McKenzie Wark, Gamer Theory 2.0 & Gamer Theory portal